Case on the application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism in the International Court of Justice (Ukraine v. Russian Federation)

Ukraine vs Russia

Ukraine claims that the Russian Federation violates the Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism: its officers, officials and individuals supply weapons, provide funding, conduct training and provide other forms of assistance to armed groups, including the Russian occupation administration so-called DPR and LPR and other related groups and individuals operating in Ukraine, as well as that the Russian Federation violates the requirements of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and has been discriminatory against the Tatar and Ukrainian ethnic populations in Crimea since February 2014 in order to consolidate Russian dominance on the peninsula by destroying the competing cultures.

Ukraine claims that:

  1. The Russian Federation violates the Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism: its officers, officials and individuals supply weapons, provide funding, conduct training and provide other forms of assistance to armed groups, including the so-called DPR and LPR and other related groups and individuals operating in Ukraine.

With such support, the following acts of terrorism were committed:

  • shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which caused deaths of 298 civilians from 10 countries;
  • shelling of residential areas of Mariupol, which killed 30 civilians;
  • shelling of residential areas of Kramatorsk, which killed 7 civilians;
  • destruction of a civilian passenger bus near Volnovakha, which killed 12 passengers;
  • bomb explosion during the National Unity March in Kharkiv, which killed two people.
  1. The RF violates the requirements of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and has been discriminatory against the Tatar and Ukrainian ethnic populations in Crimea since February 2014 in order to consolidate Russian dominance on the peninsula by destroying the competing cultures, including:
    • murder and disappearance of a large number of Crimean Tatar activists;
    • forced expulsion of prominent Crimean Tatar leaders;
    • ban on the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People;
    • ban on holding peaceful assemblies;
    • closure of Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian mass media;
    • closure of Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian educational institutions.

The objective of the appeal

The objective of the appeal to the International Court of Justice is to establish violations of the mentioned Conventions by the Russian Federation, to restitute the violated rights of Ukraine, to oblige Russia to refrain from such actions in the future and compensate for damage.

Status:

Valid. The International Court of Justice ruled on preliminary objections in favor of Ukraine.

Timeline

  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017

08 November

The judgment on the jurisdiction of the ICJ was announced on 8 November 2019 – the International Court of Justice ruled on preliminary objections in favor of Ukraine, strongly rejecting all objections of Russia to jurisdiction and admissibility, reaffirming its jurisdiction to consider Ukraine's claims under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (“ICSFT”) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (“CERD”).

The delivery of judgment dated 8 November was public. The video is available at link.

The court fixed 8 December 2020 as the time-limit for filing a Counter-Memorial by the Russian Federation. In its Counter-Memorial Russia will have to answer on the merits of Ukraine's claims – and the extensive evidence that proves them ─ that Russia has violated its international obligations under ICSFT and CERD.

03 June

On 03-07 June 2019, the Peace Palace (The Hague) hosted a public hearing of the Russian Federation's Preliminary Objections before the International Court of Justice on the interpretation and application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (Ukraine v. Russian Federation).

Video record of the hearings is available at link.

During the speeches of its advocates, Russia clearly demonstrated its attitude to international law by denying all known facts in order to legitimize its own destructive activities.

The position of the Russian party expressed by advocates during the public hearings:

  • Ukraine's application is politically motivated and artificial. The current events in Ukraine are a coup d'etat and a civil war;
  • the only dispute that exists between Ukraine and the RF concerns aggression and the application of international humanitarian law;
  • Russia's advocates deny the existence of a dispute between the Parties;
  • the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people is not the only representative body of the Crimean Tatar people; and its ban is related to its violation of the provisions of the national legislation of the RF, namely extremist activities;
  • non-fulfillment by the parties of the Minsk agreements, whereto the so-called ‘LPR’ or ‘DPR’ are also the parties in addition to Ukraine and Russia;
  • there is no terrorism in Ukraine only because various observers did not use the word ‘terrorism’. Russian national law prohibits the financing of terrorism by civil servants;
  • in the context of the shoot-down of MH17, the Russian Agent, referring to the Report of the International Joint Investigation Team dated May 2018, stated that there were still no answers to the question why the plane was shot down and who was responsible for it;
  • Ukraine has not fully complied with the pretrial settlement procedures.

The position of the Ukrainian party expressed by advocates during the public hearings:

  • the real subject matter of the dispute lies in the interpretation and application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (ICSFT) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD);
  • after the illegal occupation of Crimea, Russia launched a large-scale campaign to culturally exterminate the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians. Russia has resorted to the collective punishment of the entire ethnic groups in the illegally occupied Crimea;
  • according to the UN Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine for the period from May to August 2016, “no amnesty can be given” for the most serious crimes and violations of human rights. In case of such serious crimes as the terrorist acts – amnesty issues has never been considered during the Minsk process;
  • in the context of the shoot-down of MH17 aircraft, there is a growing body of evidence in this case. The International Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has established that BUK missile system used to shoot down MH17 was delivered by individuals from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, based in Kursk, Russia. The investigation is nearing completion and indictments are expected soon;
  • it was emphasized that the armed formations of the so-called ‘LPR’ or ‘DPR’ are not parties to the Minsk process; thus, discussion of their interests in this context is meaningless;
  • Ukraine appealed to the ICJ as to the final authority to highlight Russia's gross violations of international treaties.

14 January

Ukraine submitted its written observations and submissions (hereinafter referred to as the written statement) in response to the Russian Federation's objection to the lack of jurisdiction of the Court to consider an interstate dispute on the application and interpretation of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination to the International Court of Justice.

Russia raised its objections to the jurisdiction with the ICJ in September 2018.

In its written statement, Ukraine clearly showed that the ICJ has jurisdiction to consider all claims of Ukraine.

First, Ukraine claims that it has complied with all the necessary requirements for a pretrial settlement of the dispute, which gives the ICJ jurisdiction to hear the dispute with the Russian Federation on the application and interpretation of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Second, Ukraine proves that the majority of Russian objections are inadmissible at the preliminary stage of the proceeding, as they may be considered at the merits stage.

Third, Ukraine points out that the interpretation of the Conventions should be decided at the merits stage. Even if the Court considered such disputes in deciding whether it has jurisdiction over the case, they would all have been resolved in Ukraine's favor.

Video

Reading of the Judgment of the Court on the preliminary objections raised by the Russian Federation
Reading of the Judgment of the Court on the preliminary objections raised by the Russian Federation
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 7 June
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 7 June
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 6 June
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 6 June
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 4 June. Part 2
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 4 June. Part 2
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 4 June. Part 1
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 4 June. Part 1
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 3 June. Part 2
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 3 June. Part 2
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 3 June. Part 1
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 3 June. Part 1

12 June

Ukraine submitted a Memorial on the violation by the Russian Federation of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

19 April

Ukraine requested the ICJ to provide the final interpretation of the Order on the application of provisional measures dated 19 April 2017 due to the fact that the Russian Federation continues to ban and obstruct the activities of the Mejlis.

The ICJ appealed to the Russian Federation to express its position on Ukraine's request. The Russian Federation cynically denied the jurisdiction of the ICJ to consider such issues.

Ukraine and the Russian Federation keep the Court informed of the implementation of the Order.

19 April

ICJ ordered to apply provisional measures against the Russian Federation, whereby the Russian Federation in the temporarily occupied Crimea must:

  1. refrain from maintaining or imposing limitations on the ability of the Crimean Tatar community to conserve its representative institutions, including the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people;
  2. ensure the availability of education in the Ukrainian language.

The delivery of the order on the application of provisional measures was public. The video is available at link.

06 March

On 6-9 March 2017, public hearings as to applying of provisional measures against the Russian Federation were held. The video record of the public hearings is available at Link.

16 January

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs acting in the name of Ukraine filed an application with the International Court of Justice (hereinafter referred to as the ICJ) for violation by the Russian Federation its obligations under the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine appealed to the ICJ to indicate provisional measures in this case.

Video

Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 9 March
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 9 March
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 8 March
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 8 March
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 7 March
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 7 March
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 6 March
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 6 March

Video

All videos
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 3 June. Part 1
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 3 June. Part 1
03.06.2019
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 9 March
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 9 March
09.03.2017
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 8 March
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 8 March
08.03.2017
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 7 March
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 7 March
07.03.2017
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 6 March
Application of the ICSFT and of the ICERD (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). 6 March
06.03.2017
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 3 June. Part 2
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 3 June. Part 2
03.06.2019
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 4 June. Part 1
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 4 June. Part 1
04.06.2019
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 4 June. Part 2
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 4 June. Part 2
04.06.2019
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 6 June
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 6 June
06.06.2019
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 7 June
Public hearings on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Russian Federation. 7 June
07.06.2019
Reading of the Judgment of the Court on the preliminary objections raised by the Russian Federation
Reading of the Judgment of the Court on the preliminary objections raised by the Russian Federation
08.11.2019

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